Last fall, several media outlets reported that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh might give Damien Echols a small role in The Hobbit. The main source was Roger Friedman, formerly celebrity gossip guru for Fox News and now author/proprietor of Showbiz 411: Damien Echols to Publish Memoir, May Be A Hobbit.
I haven’t seen any confirmations or denials or updates since then. Maybe Echols is a hobbit, maybe not.
And why not? The Hobbit is a beloved children’s book. Damien Echols is a beloved child murderer. Putting him in the film adaptation makes perfect sense.